Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

LaHoste, Gerald

Second Advisor

Vaccarino, Anthony

Third Advisor

Canavier, Carmen

Fourth Advisor

Daniel, Jill


Previous work has shown D1/D2 requisite synergism can still occur in the striatum in the absence of action potentials. Some nonclassical communication such as gap junctions may be allowing the segregated dopamine (DA) receptors to interact to produce stereotyped motor activity. Connexin-32 (Cx32) and connexin-36 (Cx36) were targeted for study due to their abundance in neural tissues and presence in the striatum. Mice lacking either the Cx32 or Cx36 gene and their respective wildtype littermates were compared on a climbing behavior task used to gauge their dopaminergic activity after receiving either saline, D1 agonist, D2 agonist, or both D1 and D2 agonists. The results showed that D1/D2 requisite synergism was still intact in both strains of mice. The Cx32 WT mice displayed significantly greater scores than the KO mice in the D1/D2 treatment. The Cx36 mice did not display a significant genotype difference, but a trend was observed with the KO females having larger scores relative to WT females or to males of either genotype.


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